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    Rakkasan Strong Bonds

    Rakkasan Strong Bonds

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Michael Eaddy | Soldiers and families with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team participate in a Unified Strong...... read more read more

    FORT CAMPBELL, Ky—The 3rd Brigade Combat Team Unit Ministry Team conducted a Unified Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat at the Hilton Nashville Airport Hotel August 20-22, 2021.

    The Strong Bonds program is a unit-based, chaplain-led program that assists commanders in helping build individual Soldier and family resiliency by strengthening the Army family.

    “The purpose of this event was to enrich marriages; to give people the tools they need to think through their trouble spots, to help get to a healthier place than where they were yesterday or last week,” said CH (Maj.) Mark Olson, chaplain for 3BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “I’ve had one couple come up to me and say ‘because of this weekend we’ve pushed the reset button on our marriage,’ and I’ve been overwhelmed by the stories and how hard they’ve been working to figure this all out.”

    The core mission of the Strong Bonds program is to increase individual Soldier and family member readiness through relationship education and skills training.

    “I’ve always wanted to go to one of these,” said Karena Schaefer, an Army spouse and a Strong Bonds attendee. “I have a lot of friends whose marriage was falling apart and they came to a retreat and they’re doing great now. Even though, they are getting rid of the overnight stays, which is sad, but I’m really happy I came.”

    Strong Bonds events are usually conducted in an offsite retreat format in order to maximize the training effect. The retreat is intended to provide a fun, safe, and secure environment to address the impact of constant relocations, deployments, and military lifestyle stressors.

    “By having the opportunity to [come] out here, to get out of our normal element of home and work and to just focus on ourselves and our marriage it was very beneficial to come here and do that,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Austin, a Soldier with Bravo Company, 21st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3BCT.

    Strong Bonds is fully-funded and Chaplain-led with the support of the commanding officer. Soldiers and their Families attend with others in the unit who share the same deployment cycle. During the retreat, Soldiers and Families participate in small group activities that reveal common bonds and nurture friendships. This shores up spousal support at home, which can be vitally important while the Soldier is away. In addition, Soldiers and Families gain awareness of community resources that can assist with concerns about health and wellness, even crisis intervention.

    Now known as Strong Bonds, the Army introduced a program called Building Strong and Ready Families back in 1997. Sadly, the program that has helped rebuild so many marriages throughout the Army will be going away starting fiscal year 2022.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.23.2021
    Date Posted: 08.24.2021 17:56
    Story ID: 403841
    Location: FORT CAMPBELL, TN, US 
    Hometown: CLARKSVILLE, TN, US
    Hometown: FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US
    Hometown: FORT CAMPBELL, TN, US

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